According to the Hinda-Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, consuming a daily additional 10mg of flavonols, a subgroup of flavonoids, was associated with a 20% reduction in the risk of frailty.
The research team noted that a medium-sized apple contains approximately 10mg of flavonols, making it an easily accessible source of this beneficial compound.
Frailty, distinct from natural aging, affects around 10-15% of older adults and can lead to functional decline, increased risk of falls and fractures, disability, and even death.
The study analyzed data from the Framingham Heart Study, a long-term research project involving residents of Framingham, Massachusetts. The researchers tracked 1,701 participants for up to 12 years, assessing frailty based on indicators such as slow walking speed, weak grip strength, and weight loss. The study revealed that 13.2% of the participants exhibited frailty symptoms.
While the study did not establish a significant association between overall flavonoid intake and frailty, it did find that an increased consumption of flavonol subgroup, particularly quercetin, was strongly linked to a lower risk of frailty.
Dr. Shwani Chaudhary, a co-author of the study from Harvard Medical School, highlighted the potential preventive effects of flavonols and suggested further investigation into their role in frailty treatment strategies. The researchers emphasized the need to expand the study’s racial diversity to explore the effects of flavonoids on frailty across different populations.